Frances Ellen Work

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Frances Ellen Work
Frances Work 2163454306 8fa8ee30e6 o.jpg
Born (1857-10-27)October 27, 1857
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 26, 1947(1947-01-26) (aged 89)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) James Burke Roche, 3rd Baron Fermoy
(m. 1880; div. 1891)

Aurel de Batonyi
(m. 1905; div. 1907)
Children Eileen Roche
Cynthia Roche
Maurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy
Francis George Burke Roche
Parent(s) Franklin H. Work
Ellen Wood

Frances Ellen Work (October 27, 1857 – January 26, 1947) was an American heiress and socialite. She was a great-grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her great-great-grandchildren include the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, and the American actor Oliver Platt.

Early life[edit]

Frances was born in New York City on October 27, 1857. She was a daughter of Franklin H. Work (1819–1911), a well-known stockbroker and protégé of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and his wife, Ellen Wood (1831–1877).[1] Her sister Lucy Work (1861–1934) was married to Peter Cooper Hewitt (1861–1921).[2]

Society life[edit]

In 1892, Frances was included in Ward McAllister's "Four Hundred", purported to be an index of New York's best families, published in The New York Times.[3] Conveniently, 400 was the number of people that could fit into Mrs. Astor's ballroom.[4]

She was a prominent figure in the New York City and Newport, Rhode Island, social sets, and was friends with Mrs Reginald Vanderbilt.[5]

When her father died in 1911, he left an estate, for the benefit of her, her children, and her sister, of nearly $15,000,000.[2] In his will, he stipulated that no part of his estate was to go to his "erstwhile son-in-law, James Boothby Burke Roche."[6]

Personal life[edit]

On September 22, 1880, at Christ Church, New York City, Frances Work married the Hon. James Boothby Burke Roche (1852–1920),[7] who would later become the 3rd Baron Fermoy in 1920 after his brother, Edward Roche, 2nd Baron Fermoy, died without any male heirs.[8] He was the son of Edmond Roche, 1st Baron Fermoy and Elizabeth Caroline Boothby.[9] They had four children: two daughters, and twin sons:

Frances divorced Roche in Delaware for desertion in 1891, before he had succeeded to the barony.[11] Her lawyer was Thomas F. Bayard, former United States Secretary of State.[12] In 1899, her ex-husband, then a Member of Parliament,[13] sued her with a Writ of Habeas Corpus to produce their daughter in Court, stating that she was depriving "the child of her liberty."[9] The case was settled out of Court shortly thereafter.[14]

On August 4, 1905, the Hon. Mrs. Burke Roche married Aurel de Batonyi, a Hungarian-born riding instructor and society horseman.[15][16] When he immigrated to the United States on the White Star liner Majestic in 1891, Batonyi had claimed he was a count.[17] It was also suggested that his real name was Arthur Cohn.[5] Frances sued de Batonyi for divorce two years after their marriage, allegedly because her father threatened to disinherit her if she continued to live with her husband.[5]

She died in the city of her birth, at her residence 1020 Fifth Avenue, at the age of 89 on January 26, 1947.[6]

Descendants[edit]

She was a great-grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her great-great-grandchildren include Prince William, Prince Harry, and the American actor Oliver Platt.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Williamson, D. (1981) The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine vol. 20 (no. 6) p. 192-199 and vol. 20 (no. 8) pp. 281–282.
  2. ^ a b "WORK ESTATE ACCOUNTING.; Trustees of $15,000,000 Property Ask Advice on Lackawanna Stock". The New York Times. 2 June 1922. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  3. ^ McAllister, Ward (16 February 1892). "THE ONLY FOUR HUNDRED | WARD M'ALLISTER GIVES OUT THE OFFICIAL LIST. HERE ARE THE NAMES, DON'T YOU KNOW, ON THE AUTHORITY OF THEIR GREAT LEADER, YOU UNDER- STAND, AND THEREFORE GENUINE, YOU SEE" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Keister, Lisa A. (2005). Getting Rich: America's New Rich and How They Got That Way. Cambridge University Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780521536677. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Oakland Tribune, September 8, 1907, pp. 17–18.
  6. ^ a b c "MRS. BURKE ROCHE DEAD HERE AT 90; Society Notable, Daughter of Frank Work, Banker--Former Wife of Third Baron Fermoy". The New York Times. January 27, 1947. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  7. ^ Williamson, D The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine, 1981; vol. 20 (no. 6) p. 192-199 and vol. 20 (no. 8) p. 281-282
  8. ^ Cokayne, G. E., Gibbs, Vicary and Doubleday, H. A. The Complete Peerage: Volume V (St. Catherine Press, London, 1926) p. 303
  9. ^ a b "BURKE-ROCHE GETS A WRIT; He Obtains an Order for the Production of His Daughter. ALLEGES SHE IS DETAINED The Father Charges that His ex-Wife, Who Was Miss Fannie Work, Deprives the Child of Her Liberty". The New York Times. 21 May 1899. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  10. ^ Mosley, Charles (ed.), Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition (Burke's Peerage and Gentry LLC, 2003) vol. I p. 1414
  11. ^ "A CELEBRATED SUIT ENDED; MRS. FRANCES BURKE-ROCHE IS GRANTED A DIVORCE. THE DECREE GIVES HER CUSTODY OF HER CHILDREN AND TAXES COSTS UPON THE HUSBAND -- ORDERS ISSUE IN TWO OTHER NOTABLE CASES". The New York Times. 4 March 1891. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  12. ^ The Times (London) Friday, 27 March 1896, p. 7 col. F.
  13. ^ "BURKE ROCHE IN TROUBLE.; Irish Nationalist Member Who Married Miss Work of New York". The New York Times. 17 July 1897. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "THE BURKE ROCHE CASE; The Matter Has Been Satisfactorily Settled Out of Court. FATHER TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER An Agreement Reached Between the Parties in the Suit and the Writ of Habeas Corpus Dismissed". The New York Times. 30 June 1899. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "MRS. BURKE ROCHE WEDS AURIEL BATONYI; Announcement Is Made by Her Father, Frank Work. COUPLE ARE NOW ABROAD She Is the Former Wife of James B. Burke Roche, M.P. -- He Is an ex-Riding Master." The New York Times. 15 July 1906. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  16. ^ "FATHER DOESN'T KNOW WHEN MRS. ROCHE MARRIED; The Newspapers Know as Much as He, Says Frank Work. AN ALDERMAN TIED THE KNOT Almost a Year Ago, One Version Has It -- The Couple Did Not Sail on the St. Paul". The New York Times. 16 July 1906. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  17. ^ United States Government. 1891 New York Ship's Arrivals Records Index. Washington, D.C.: National Archives. Series M237, Roll #571, July 8, 1891.